Skip to main content

Last Alarm


Published 1940
Topics crime, drama


Captain Hadley (J. Farrell MacDonald, who also appeared as the City Editor in "Danger Ahead") reaches the age limit for firefighter and is retired. While he is bored out of his mind at home, an arsonist (George Pembroke), who evidently is called Wendell, despite the fact that noone ever calls him by name, starts to burn the city down, building by building.

After his friend Burt (Joel Friedkin) dies fighting a fire, Hadley unofficially joins up with the arson squad to track down the arsonist; but as Hadley zeroes in on Wendell, Wendell zeroes in on Hadley...

[Synopsis by uniQ.]

You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.


Run time 53:25
Producer T.R. Williams
Production Company Monogram Pictures Corporation
Audio/Visual sound, b&w

Reviews

Reviewer: Ice Czar - - March 10, 2006
Subject: Cameo
Note on uncredited cameo appearence.

Captain Hadley the day after his retirement answers the door to none other than Elmer Fudd, err... Joe Penner who's voice was the inspiration for Elmer Fudd. Joe Penner made only a handful of films but a famous depression era radio comic.

A startling non-sequitur to this film.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - January 28, 2006
Subject: Great Rousing Entertainment!
I love it when directors mix it up and show stuff that we haven¡¯t seen before, mixing up two genres. That¡¯s exactly what happens in ¡®Night Alarm¡¯, when a generational neglect movie mixes in with a suspense movie! When Jim Hadley retires from the Fire department, he hardly knows what to do with himself, he¡¯s 65 you see, and the fire department kicked him off because of his age. But when an arsonist lets loose on the city, Jim is at first reluctant to going back into firefighting, but caves in when his best friend on the force dies. The race is on to find the arsonist before it hits too close to home!
This actually was a LOT of fun. Aside from the stock footage of fires which was great (a lot of it I¡¯ve actually seen before), I truly LOVED the arsonist played by George Penbrooke, He brought a great sinister quality mixed in with some ridiculousness for good measure. His intensity could easily be matched with someone like Willem Defoe. I always looked forward to seeing him on the screen again. Didn¡¯t really like the ridiculous ending. Why was he remaining in the house?
Reviewer: D45 - - May 14, 2005
Subject: watch this film for the action scenes
If you watch this film carefully, the overall drama elements aside, there are some great scenes of real fires and firemen of the period in action cut into the drama sequences.

Another film that is part drama and part documentary in a similar genre is a British production not available in the Prelinger collection... though I wish it were:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035671/
When the Bells Go Down [1943]

About the earlier days of wartime firefighting in Britain [1938-42] and made during WW2 - with many of the "original cast."

Runtime: 90 min
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Sound Mix: Mono
Reviewer: bradsx - - September 4, 2004
Subject: Check it Out
Nice period piece. Newly retired fire captain inspired to return to duty to catch a pyromaniac. Despite the hokey acting, kind of compelling. There are worse ways to spend an hour. Start watching it and you'll want to see how the creepy firebug is caught!
Reviewer: uniQ - - April 5, 2004
Subject: Like Night Alarm, but better in a way
In this case, the former umm... I don't remember his position..get's retired and now has to become accustomed to inactivity, which is rather hard as a firebug is burning the city down (Sound familiar?). In this case the 'bug is some dude who thinks that he's Vulcan, the god of fire. So he burns stuff down. The former fireman becomes interested so he investigates the site of a warehouse fire (It's more then possible to poke holes in this: The timebombs are the classic alarmclocks that are set to go off at 10:00, or something. The paper face of the clock survives a blazing warehouse fire. The old dude can smell the board and tell that a rare oil was used on it, but previous chemical analisys didn't pick that up, but later analisys shows is!). He then later finds an extremely unusall statue of Vulcan that the pyromaniac dropped, then with a friend he put 2 and 2 together and goes after him. Meanwhile 'bug there plants a bomb in his house with his wife and daughter which blows up a bit before he gets there. He gets there in time to force the 'bug to fall downstairs into the flames. He's then appointed honorary Fire Chief.

I left ALOT out, ho download it yourself and see.

-uniQ
In Collection
Feature Films
In Collection
Movies
Uploaded
on 3/26/2004
Views
18,479
Favorites
16
Reviews
5
PEOPLE ALSO FOUND
German Cinema from Lutz Mommartz
by Lutz Mommartz
1,065
0
0
Feature Films
3,723
2
2
( 2 reviews )
German Cinema from Lutz Mommartz
by Lutz Mommartz
2,153
0
0
German Cinema from Lutz Mommartz
by Lutz Mommartz
1,459
0
0
German Cinema from Lutz Mommartz
by Lutz Mommartz
1,313
0
0
German Cinema from Lutz Mommartz
by Lutz Mommartz
1,862
0
0
Feature Films
3,582
2
1
( 1 reviews )
Feature Films
5,769
2
2
( 2 reviews )
German Cinema from Lutz Mommartz
by Lutz Mommartz
1,488
0
0